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Murder suspect makes initial appearance in court

James Earl Winters, 27, of Vicksburg, wanted in connection to the Oct. 6 murder of Wade Carter, made his first appearance in court Thursday, where he was formally charged.

During the hearing in Vicksburg Municipal Court, Winters was charged with murder, aggravated assault with a firearm and felon in possession of a firearm. Judge Angela Carpenter placed a $2 million bond on Winters. But, even with the bond set, Winters will not be released, as a hold was placed on him by the Mississippi Department of Corrections. 

Also facing charges is Winters’ girlfriend, Ollie Callisa Wells, 25, of Vicksburg.

She was arrested Wednesday as well and charged with hindering prosecution for her role in helping Winters avoid arrest for more than three months.

Carpenter placed a $200,000 bond on Wells and bound her case over to the grand jury.

According to the Vicksburg Police Department, its officers, in cooperation with deputies of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, executed a warrant at an address on Los Colinas Drive shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday. Winters was found inside the home.

Winters has been on the run from law enforcement since Oct. 6, when he allegedly shot and killed Carter Jr., 31, in the parking lot of LD’s Bar and Lounge, 1111 Mulberry Street.

Carter was shot twice in the abdomen during the incident that occurred just after 11 p.m. on Oct. 6. He died three days later, becoming the eighth homicide victim in Vicksburg in 2020.

A security guard working at LD’s was also shot in the leg. A third person arrived at Merit Health River Region’s emergency room by personal vehicle with a gunshot wound.

Winters was quickly identified as a suspect, but was not captured until Wednesday.

Winters has a criminal history dating back to 2011 when he was charged with contempt of court.

It got worse from there, as he was charged with shooting into an occupied dwelling and two counts of attempted aggravated assault in 2012.

In 2013, Winters was charged with felony possession of marijuana.

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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